Mohammed Islam, a 17-year-old New York City senior, retracts his story about being a whiz-kid stock picker

By Tim Nudd
Updated December 16, 2014 08:00 AM
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Turns out his real gift was for fabrication.

The New York City high school senior who said he’d made millions – as much as $72 million, according to New York magazine – by trading stocks during his lunch hour now admits he made the whole thing up.

Mohammed Islam, 17, who boasted to New York that his net worth was in the “high eight figures,” has come clean in the New York Observer – saying he hasn’t invested any money in the market or made any returns at all, and that the story is a total fiction.

“I am incredibly sorry for any misjudgment and any hurt I caused,” says the Stuyvesant High School student, the son of Bengali immigrants from Queens. “The people I’m most sorry for is my parents. I did something where I can no longer gain their trust. I have one sister, two years younger, and we don’t really talk.”

Islam says he does run an investment club at the school, and while he did well in simulated trades, they were just that – simulated.

“Honestly, my dad wanted to disown me [after the New York story came out],” Islam says. “My mom basically said she d never talk to me. Their morals are that if I lie about it and don t own up to it, then they can no longer trust me They knew it was false, and they basically wanted to kill me, and I haven t spoken to them since.”

Islam says he doesn’t know where New York got the $72 million number – that figure was just a rumor at the school. For its part, the magazine has left the story up on its website but said in an editor’s note that it has altered the headline to “reflect the fact that we did not know the exact figure he has made in trades.”

New York says, however, that Islam provided bank statements showing he is worth eight figures.